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Iran wants leadership at OPEC

June 11, 2012 at 9:31 AM

TEHRAN, June 11 (UPI) -- The Iranian government said it introduced former Petroleum Minister Gholam Hosain Nozari as its candidate for the top position at OPEC.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meets Thursday in Vienna for a regular meeting. Iran said it would nominate Nozari to replace outgoing OPEC Secretary-General Abdallah el-Badri, whose term expires at the end of the year, reports the Iranian Oil Ministry's official Web site.

Iran, a price hawk and top OPEC producer, is facing an embargo on crude oil imports from members of the European community.

Tehran has said it favors an oil price of around $100 per barrel. Oil prices, however, are on a four-week decline and closer to $80 per barrel.

Saudi Arabia has given assurances that crude oil levels would remain static despite the move away from Iranian supplies.

Mohammad Ali Khatabi, Iran's envoy to OPEC, last weekend said member states should stick with production quotas to halt the decline in crude oil prices.

OPEC production as of April reached 31.6 million barrels per day.

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